As federal investigations continue around him, pressure is increasing on Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), including a call for him to quit his post atop the powerful House Defense Appropriations panel.
Federal investigators are reportedly probing at least four organizations whose financial livelihoods have been closely tied to Murtha. Murtha has not been named as a target of any of the probes, although his name has come up in interviews with the investigators, according to sources and news reports.
And it’s not just one agency out on a witch-hunt:
Murtha, and all the players under investigation who have commented to the media, have denied any wrongdoing. The federal probes do not appear to be directly connected or controlled by a single office, agency or prosecutor, but instead involve various combinations including the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, and the FBI.
With friends like these, the saying goes. Unfortunately for Murtha, the swirl of scandal has elevated calls for his ouster, at least from his Defense Appropriations perch. In a Huffington Post column Friday, one of D.C.’s most outspoken clean-government advocates, Melanie Sloan of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said it was time for Murtha to leave that subcommittee.
Makes one wonder if Speaker Pelosi has the political capital left to defend both herself and Murtha. I strongly suspect not, and thus John might get hung out to dry by Her Speakerness.